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Water main break closes Buford Highway; boil water advisory in effect

Crews are on the scene of a water main break that has forced the closure of Buford Highway in DeKalb County.Th...

Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 8:20 AM
Updated: Mar. 7, 2018 8:20 AM

Crews are on the scene of a water main break that has forced the closure of Buford Highway in DeKalb County.

The roadway is closed at the intersection of Longmire Way. The break occurred in a 48 inch transmission main on the 5700 block of Buford Highway in Doraville.

It is unclear what caused the break but GDOT reports the roadway isn't expected to fully reopen until 12 p.m.

Schools impacted

The road closure forced all schools in Decatur to run on a 2-hour delay but school officials have decided to cancel classes for the rest of the day. The DeKalb County school district says they'll release students early on Wednesday due to the impact of the water main break. The early release times are listed below:

Elementary schools – released at 10 a.m.

High schools – 11:15 a.m.

Middle schools- 12:15 p.m.

"The health and safety of our students is always the top priority. The impact of the water main break and repairs makes early release the most prudent route," said DeKalb County superintendent/CEO R. Stephen Green.

St. Pius X Catholic Schools will dismiss students at 12:07 p.m. On campus after school extracurricular activities are canceled.

Georgia State University's Clarkston and Dunwoody campuses closed at 10 a.m.

Emory University also closed at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Two campuses of Georgia Piedmont Technical College are also delayed. The DeKalb campus and Starnes Learning Center will not open until at least 12 p.m. on Wednesday.

Other closures and delays

The DeKalb County Board of Health has closed for the day. The DeKalb County courthouse, including the board of equalization and clerk of superior court will close at 12 p.m. Wednesday.

All DeKalb County government offices are also closing at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The Brookhaven City Hall closed at 10 a.m. and planning commission work sessions and meetings have also been cancelled.

We've also received word that the DeKalb County Police headquarters in Tucker is also without water service and several other businesses in the area have also been impacted.

Boil and conserve water notice

Residents in the affected area are being asked to boil water for at least one minute after water comes to a rolling boil prior to drinking, cooking or preparing baby food. DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond released this statement regarding the boil water advisory in effect for residents in the county:

"A large diameter water main break is causing water pressure in parts of the water system to drop to dangerously low levels. When this occurs a potential health hazard may exist in these areas of zero pressure from backflow and/or back-siphonage of water of unknown quality into the water distribution system.

DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management, in an abundance of caution, is issuing a Boil Water Advisory for the entire system. In order to protect the public from a potential health hazard, all customers that have experienced water outages and/or low water pressures are advised to "boil" all water prior to use for drinking, cooking, or preparing baby food. The water should be boiled for at least one minute after reaching a rolling boil. Customers should continue to boil their water until they are notified that the water system has been restored to full operation, and that the microbiological quality of the water in the distribution system is safe for human consumption."

CBS46's Rebekka Schramm talked with a public information representative from DeKalb Medical Center and they say because of low water pressure, they're cancelling all elective surgeries on Wednesday. Affiliated testing and wellness centers are also closed. The emergency room is on diversion, meaning ambulances are being told to take patients elsewhere. Walk-ins are still being seen. The hospital is still equipped to do emergency surgeries.

The DeKalb County Watershed says eight tankers are being brought into the county to supply water for fire protection and to fill chillers at hospitals. The state is also on standby to assist as needed.

CBS46's Daniel Wilkerson snapped this picture of a storage building that has about an inch or two of standing water around the whole facility. This is the area where the water main broke.

Alternate routes

New Peachtree Road can be used as an alternate route around the situation. Commuters can also use I-85 to the south.

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